Published on July 2, 2016
“I’m Gonna Wash That Man Right Outa My Hair” is a song from the musical South Pacific, sung by Nellie Forbush, the female lead, originally played by Mary Martin in the 1949 Broadway production. Her character, fed up with a man (Emile De Becque) and singing energetically in the shower, claims that she will forget about him. The song was written by Rodgers and Hammerstein in response to Martin’s request. She had starred on Broadway for years and Martin suggested that she actually wash her hair on stage during the performance.
“I’m Gonna Wash That Man Right Outa My Hair” was adapted for a commercial jingle for Clairol hair coloring in the 1970s. PJ Harvey referenced the song in her 1992 single “Sheela-Na-Gig” with the repeated lyric “gonna wash that man right outa my hair”. 50 Foot Wave’s song “Bone China” also references this song in the lyric, “Gonna wash that man right out of my head / and soap him into my eyes”.
The song was covered in the 2004 film Connie and Carla by the title characters (portrayed by Nia Vardalos & Toni Collette).